Police: Freeway overpass standoff started with carjacking

More on the dramatic freeway overpass scene from rush hour Wednesday.

UPDATE: Highland Park police say the suspect in the chase was involved in a carjacking, which led to the hit and run when he crashed into the garage.

A dangerous game of cat and mouse played out high above the Davison Freeway - at the height of rush hour a man climbed onto the overpass and refused to come down after fleeing from police.

It began when an SUV crashed into a garage near Davison and John R Road. The driver got out and ran to the Davison overpass and a Michigan State Police trooper just happened to drive by in time.

What happened next brought rush hour traffic to a standstill.

The suspect was on the wrong side of the fence over the freeway signs on the overpass, causing  the Davison freeway to be shut down during the commute home.

"He jumped over the fence and was dancing back and forth between the fence," said Lt. Mike Shaw, MSP.

For more than an hour, the man was on the overpass above the traffic threatening to jump.

"They tried to get him out a couple of times, he didn't go," said one witness. "He climbed some more and then they finally got him."

"We tried to coach him down and we ended up cutting a hole in the fence to get him through the hole there, " Coney said.

"As we were able to distract him a little bit, the trooper grabbed him and pulled him in," Shaw said.

Once down he was handcuffed, taken to the hospital and evaluated.

As quick as they could, MSP and Highland Park police had to get into position once the man took his precarious position above the traffic.

"We had the semi-trucks block traffic so the fall wouldn't be bad if he did fall down," Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney said.
"One of our troopers that got out there was able to establish a rapport with him," Shaw said. "We were able to gauge that he have some mental illness and probably some alcohol on top of that, (which) sent him in this direction."

"I hope the person is ok and can get help," said the witness.

"We get some jumpers, that had happens before the holidays," Coney said. "We get people that want to go that route but it turned out good this time."

FOX 2 spoke to the man's wife who was out here trying to talk him down.  She didn't have much to say other than he is going to be alright.

The man will likely be cited for the hit and run, while the findings of the freeway overpass incident will be given to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office for any possible further charges.

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